Bethlehem Democratic Committee has a new leader

Kuhn rides Reform wave, Clyne retains county chairmanship

— Kuhn said the committee has gone through some significant changes, but he wants to utilize any new ideas to make the organization as strong as possible.

“I think one of the principal ideas was (Reform members) wanted to see more participation in the decision making process by the rank and file members,” said Kuhn. “Too many decisions were made by too few people and I think one of the goals of the new members is to have a much more participatory body so the work isn’t as concentrated. I fully support that and it is one of the goals I intend to implement.”

As a member of the Town Board, Kuhn’s appointment runs contrary to changes to the town’s ethics policy supported by Supervisor John Clarkson and many Reform Democrats. The portion in question, which was not adopted, called for those sitting on town boards to not hold leadership positions within political parties. Some Reform Democrats had taken aim at Democrat pick Jack Cunningham in the September primary for his vice chairman position on the committee, for example.

Robbins acknowledged the issue but argued Kuhn is in a better position because he would not be serving as both county and town chairman — as Clyne had — so the conflict of interest is lessened.

“I don’t really see a change in my role, but obviously my highest obligations are those of the town board and the entire community,” said Kuhn.

Clyne kept his position as county Democratic chairman and Democratic County Board of Elections commissioner, and said he was grateful for the support.

“There are intense fiscal difficulties being placed on local bodies of government and most committee members know that,” he said. “This is a storm that has to be weathered and requires a little bit of patience.”

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